Monday, April 30, 2012

Veggie Juicing

Saturday afternoon, I received a text asking me what kind of juicer I have . . . and I thought that juicing would be a good blog topic.  Thanks, Stephanie!  :)

I first learned of juicing back in the mid/late 80s.  I was instantly enamored!  I would like to say that I have been a faithful drinker of veggie juice since I bought my first juicer . . . but that would be a lie.

At the moment, however, I am definitely "in" with making sure I get my daily quotient of fresh, raw veggie juice . . . along with also drinking copious amounts of water (which is pretty-much a constant with me - I love water, and it's actually my preferred choice of beverage).

I don't remember "how" I discovered juicing.  I do know it was during my very initial weight-loss and the beginning of my food and health research.  By the way, I am currently 80 pounds lighter than my heaviest weight and between 6-8 sizes small than my largest size.  The fluctuation is due to the fact that even at my largest clothing size, the pants were so tight that I really should have been wearing a size or two larger.

I don't remember which actually happened - my discovering juicing and then Dr. Walker's book, or my discovering juicing because of his book.  No matter; both of them happened around the same time period; and for roughly the past quarter of a century, I have pretty-much always had a copy of Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices / What's Missing in Your Body?

In the beginning, I would give away my copy to someone, anyone, who expressed an interest in juicing, and then I would buy another copy for myself.  A few years ago, I decided it would be easier to just buy a few copies of the book to have on hand and to keep one copy for myself.

I consider this book to be my juicing "bible" and I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about juicing.  It's a small book, 118 pages . . . but it is packed with a lot of information.  The author of the book, Dr. Norman Walker, is considered to be the "father" of juicing.  In fact, he originally wrote the  book in 1936 and the original title was, "Raw Vegetable Juices".  I think it was around 1970 when he renamed the book.

Regarding the machines used to juice the veggies and fruits, over the years, I have had several different brands of juicers; all of them have been the centrifugal type.  My current juicer a Juiceman, and is about 2 years old.  One of the things that I really like about it is the chute that the raw veggies are placed into to be juiced is bigger, circumferential.  This is a very good thing, as it minimizes the amount required of chopping veggies in two (i.e., beets, apples, etc.) and it also allows me to juice more carrots, celery, cucumbers and other vertical foods at one time.   All this translates into less prep time and less time  stuffing / plunging the various foods through the juicer - a huge bonus.

Over the years, I've developed a pretty good system that is fairly streamlined.  From grabbing the veggies from the fridge, to cleaning the last part of the juicer after the juice has been made, making veggie juice takes me about 20 minutes.  I've noticed that, for me, it's best if I do it first thing in the morning.  That way, it's done, and I'm not going to get sidetracked throughout the day with this project or that project and then realize at bedtime that I did not juice that day.

I clean the veggies, juice the veggies, pour the juice in a glass and pop it in the freezer.  Then, I disassemble my juicer, get rid of the pulp and then clean the various juicer parts.  Finally, I take my chilled juice out of the freezer and drink.  20 minutes, from start to finish.  Easy-peasy.

By the way, fresh, raw juices need to be consumed immediately after making the juice.  "Immediately" as within 15-20 minutes.  Please do not make "batches" of juices; i.e., for a few days or a week.  You will only waste your time, money and food . . . and probably get really frustrated with yourself.  The juice will decay and not be drinkable.  But.  If you do go ahead, anyway, and "batch-juice" a bunch of beautiful veggies, remember, I tried to tell you differently.

I've never used a hydraulic press juicer; mainly because of the price tag associated with it (theres a comma in the price amount).

I have heard very good things about them.  If you ever have a couple / few grand lying around that you don't know what to do with it, let me know and I'll give you my mailing address where you can have a hydraulic press juicer shipped to me.

Conversely, centrifugal-type juicers run a couple / few hundred dollars.  The absence of a comma in the price makes me smile.

By the way . . . no, I do not use the pulp in recipes.  That's never made sense to me.  There is no nutritive value in juiced pulp - all of the nutrients are in the juice, itself.  Regarding fiber . . . it is an incorrect assertion that there is no fiber in the juice (which is usually why people who use the pulp do so; in an attempt to incorporate fiber into their diet).  There is plenty of fiber in juiced veggies; regardless as to whether or not, it can be seen.

Don't believe me?  Juice a raw beet, and then report back to me the, uhm, general outcome of such task.  But.  Do be warned.  Raw beets are extremely cleansing.  In fact, in his book, Dr. Walker recommends that people start out with small amount of beet in their juice, and then gradual build up as their bodies begin to cleanse and detoxify.  He also recommends no more than a wineglass of beat juice at a time.  When I juice beets, I use a  medium or large beet at one time; and do that probably about 4-5 times a week; depending whether or not the store has beets when I need them.

Getting back to fiber in juice . . . yes, there is definitely fiber in fresh, raw veggie juice.  Most fiber, in and of itself, is microscopic.

While I don't currently have any extra copies of the book, I really do recommend that you pick up a copy for yourself.  I believe the current price is around $10.

The title, again, is Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices / What's Missing in Your Body?, and is written by N.W. Walker D. Sc.  The ISBN is 0-89019-06704, and is published by Norwalk Press.

When I lived in Jackson, I would periodically pop into Valley Bookstore and place an order for a copy or two.  After about a week, I'd be able to go get my book.  Of course, you can also order the book online . . . but I'm a Mom-and-Pop kinda gal and prefer to support small business whenever possible.

Funny . . . I just looked up Valley Bookstore on the web of world-wideness to give y'all the link (just in case you live in Jackson - or even want to support a Jackson business) . . . and on their intro page, they describe themselves as a "classic mom-and-pop independent bookstore".  Great minds think alike, doncha know.
So, anyway, here's their link:  Valley Bookstore; Jackson, WY

By the way - a special note to my friend, Amy L:  Don't go out and buy this book; I am remembering my promise to get a copy for you; and I'll make sure I do that this week.

Happy juicing y'all!
Here's to y'all's good health.

Be blessed,